Health Equity and Access for Returning Troops and Servicemembers (HEARTS) Act

Military service members who are wounded and retired may enroll in TRICARE upon the event that injuries prevent a return to the workforce.  They are also able to darw Social Desurity Disability benefits.  All SSDI enrollees receive Medicare after two years on SSDI.  For service members this means they are no longer eligible for TRICARE in the traditional form.  In order to retain TRICARE a service member on SSDI must enroll in Medicare Part B at a cost to the member.  By enrolling in Medicare Part B after the two year SSDI period the service member will then retain the TRICARE supplement which is TRICARE for Life.

If and when a veteran is able to return to work their Social Security Disability payments end, however, the veteran will continue to Medicare eligible for a 8.5 years or more.  As Medicare eligible veterans cannot return to TRICARE which is lost costly.  They have no choice but to continue to pay for Medicare Part B.

The HEARTS Act is working to reconcile this disparity for veterans by permitting them to opt-out of Medicare Part B and choose a TRICARE plan when SSDI payments end.  TRICARE for Life will be retained by veterans who opt-out of Medicare Part B.

The HEARTS Act was also introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives.